The Serbian Rugby League Federation has announced a 40-man train-on squad for the European B tournament which kicks off in Belgrade next month with a match against Ukraine.
Serbia’s only previous match against the Ukrainians was in the Milan Kosanović Cup in 2011, which the hosts won 10-6 at the Ada Ciganlija Stadium in Belgrade.
Head coach Marko Janković has confirmed that he is happy with the preparations and that the evenly contested Serbian First Division is providing genuine competition for places.
“Our domestic competition is balanced like never before,” he said. “We increased the number of games played and also increased the number of candidates for the national team who gained experience through different forms of representative matches, including the Risman Cup, Origin Cup and Challenge Cup.“
Partizan Belgrade, a new side in 2013, provides seven of 13 un-capped players named in a squad widely drawn from 11 clubs, compared to five in 2012.
Then, just over half of the squad came from Dorcol and Red Star. This year only a third hails from Belgrade’s powerhouse duo.
“We have again demonstrated our readiness to give opportunities to young players,“ continued Jankovic, “but at the same time we haven’t given up on proven ones that currently might not be in the forefront or struggling with injuries. Solid performances from players who have previously been central to our team gives us additional stability.”
“Some of the players from our squad will have the opportunity to claim their spots in the following weeks. Serbia Students selection will take on our U20s in a Challenge Cup series, as preparations for their tournament in France, while regional selectors are expected to make the final test for most of the candidates when they pick the Serbia Country and Belgrade City origin teams.“
SERBIA 40-MAN TRAIN-ON SQUAD
Ilija Radan (Burwood North Ryde United, Australia), Danilo Delić, Zoran Pešić, Nebojša Živanović (Carpentras XIII, France), Mirko Božović, Marko Ćuk, Dejan Lukenić, Stefan Nedeljković, Stevan Stevanović, Radovan Tajsić, Dalibor Vukanović (Dorćol), Marko Milenković, Lazar Živković (Niš), Denis Bibić, Stefan Ilić, Dragan Janković, Džavid Jašari, Dušan Milutinović, Miloš Nović, Nikola Srbljanin (Partizan), Nemanja Petrović, Igor Vratnjan (Podbara), Miloš Konstadinović, Vuk Štrbac (Radnički Belgrade), Nemanja Božić, Nemanja Cojić, Miloš Djurković, Žarko Kovačević, Pero Madžarević, Mile Podkoljnjak (Radnički NP), Vladislav Dedić, Vojislav Dedić, Slobodan Manak, Petar Milanović, Vladica Nikolić, Miodrag Tomić, Miloš Zogović (Red Star), Filip Stošić (Soko Vranje), Miloš Ćalić (Tašmajdan Tigers), Andrej Mora (Voždovac)